Emily Schiffer (USA): Cheyenne River
Inge Morath Award Winner, 2009
In 2005, I founded a photography program for youths on Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota. In this ongoing program, my students and I photograph together, share our images while they’re still in the viewfinder, and operate as both subjects and photographers. Our favorite locations are the fields and abandoned buildings on the fringes of town, forgotten places thick with the past that lend themselves to imaginary games and textured photographs. Amidst the dichotomy of a vast landscape confined by its remoteness, my images seek to explore the unique ability of children to experience love and joy alongside of pain. Over the course of four years, we have documented our relationships with one another and this land. Accordingly, though my images stand on their own, their validity and meaning are tied to the mutual context of their creation. Ultimately these images will be exhibited alongside the children’s work, which present the other parts of the whole.
In 2003 Emily Schiffer received her BA in Fine Art and African American Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. In 2005, she founded the My View Point Photography Program for youth on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota, where she continues to teach and shoot. Awards include: a 2006-07 Fulbright Fellowship in Photography, and recognition as one of the top ten portfolios for the Leica Oskar Barnak Award. Emily has exhibited her photographs in the US, France, the Philippines, and Japan. Her work is in the permanent collections of The Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts, Japan, Foto Baryo, Philippines, and the Center for Fine Art Photography, US. Emily lives in Brooklyn, NY and is available to work internationally.